I think it might be a nice addition for exploring the data/different branches of the workflow if there were an option to auto-execute a node. It might make sense to restrict auto-execution to the case when all inputs are already executed, but there might be a mode which executes all connected nodes (though only if this makes all required inputs connected and probably makes sense to not allow optional inputs in this case). I think this should not cause problems for streaming nodes, but might interact less well with meta nodes (for example it might execute the whole preceding metanode not just those parts which are required for the connected output of the metanode).
Visually it might look like that the node is tilted by 22.5°-30° when it is in the less aggressive auto-execution mode (autoexecute the current node when all of its inputs are executed), tilted by 60°-67.5° (or -30°- -22.5°, tilted to the other direction) when it is in autoexecuted mode with potentially not yet executed nodes. If only one of these modes is to be supported, I guess any of these tilts or 45° might work well. Not sure how nice the connections might look like after tilting (both incoming/outgoing).
Based on this I would probably go with not too large degrees, probably -22.5° and 22.5°, not sure about the labels, maybe they can remain horizontal:
Changing to auto-execution and back could be done -only available for nodes that support- from the context menu and probably there might be keyboard shortcuts for that.
Possible use cases:
- checking the results (maybe with a scatter-plot or a scorer node) of filtering a few nodes back (this time the more aggressive auto-execution is welcome), when all intermediate nodes are fast, but there are long-to-run nodes not executed in the workflow, which makes execute all nodes (Shift+F7) not optimal
- connecting a viewer node to different, but similar branches and keep the view open, so they can be easily checked without connecting and executing the node (it would be enough to connect)
What do you think? Does this make sense?
Thanks for considering, gabor